As a commercial property manager, the onus is completely on you to maintain safety standards, aesthetic appeal, and overall functionality of your property. It takes meticulous attention to detail to accomplish all of this successfully, especially in the middle of a bitter cold Canadian winter. You may find yourself in a position where you need to outsource a commercial winter property maintenance company in your area to perform certain tasks like ice and snow removal. But how can you tell if you’re making the right choice?
Here is a list of a few major red flags to pay attention to when looking for qualified and reputable winter property maintenance contractors in your area.
Lack of Certification, Credentials, or References
Contracting work, whether it’s landscaping or winter property maintenance, is a visual type of job by nature. Most clients will want to see pictures of past work to judge the quality of it themselves—and rightfully so. Some prospective clients may even ask to see a contractor’s credentials or ask for references, so they can speak to past clients.
All of this, along with reading online reviews, is part and parcel of doing your due diligence and to make sure that you’re not getting ripped off. If a commercial snow removal contractor flat out refuses to provide you with references or simply doesn’t have any, then you should take this as a major red flag. At the very least, it’s a huge risk to hire a snow removal service without proof that they can do a good job. Lack of certification, credentials, or references can also culminate in predominantly bad reviews and no insurance.
How They Respond to Negative Reviews
Adding on to that point, you should also look at how the company responds to negative reviews. Some negative reviews may be warranted, while others can be a little over the top and ridiculous. It’s up to you to judge for yourself. Regardless of the reasonability of the negative review, how the company responds matters. Are they rude and combative? Or are they apologetic and attempting to rectifying the situation? These factors are a good indication of what this company will be like to work with and whether or not they’re a legitimate business that knows how to appropriately handle their affairs.
Inability to Uphold Contractual Obligations
As an Ontario business owner or property manager, you need to hire a reliable and reputable commercial property maintenance company that honours their contractual obligations. The contract should state specific stipulations of your work order agreement including the date and time of the service, an approximate timeline in which the service will be delivered, and any other outstanding agreed upon factors or situations. If you notice a pattern of contract breaking from an individual contractor or winter property maintenance company, then you should consider hiring someone else immediately.
Use of Unsecured Ice and Snow Melting Products
It’s just as much your responsibility as it is that of the snow removal contractor to adequately research the ice and snow melting products that are being used on your commercial property. If protecting the environment, your local ecosystem, and reducing your carbon footprint are important to your business, then you should make sure that the ice melting products used are approved by Environment Canada. Toxic chemicals in certain ice melters can make their way into your local sewage system and disrupt or destroy native underwater ecosystems and animal habitats.
Pay attention to the various communication platforms that the company has available. Are they on social media? Do they have an email or phone number where you can reach them? Do they offer live chat services on their website so you can ask them a quick question? Good communication is one of the most important cornerstones of customer service. If you’re having a hard time just getting in touch with a snow removal company to get a quote, ask a question, or book their services, then imagine how hard it will be when you’ve actually hired them for a job.
Poor communications skills can lead to a lot of confusion and service discrepancies, which will only serve to waste your valuable time. Make sure that the company you hire is easy to get a hold of and that they take the time to answer all of your questions.
The Contract Is Hard to Understand
Any time you sign a contract, you should expect to see some unfamiliar legal jargon. That’s perfectly normal. But, be aware of commercial property maintenance contracts that try to pass off purposely confusing and nonsensical legal jargon as standard contractual stipulations.
Ask a lawyer to peruse your contract and explain any points or concepts that are unclear. The contract should include a list of services that will be provided, terms, the payment schedule if there is one, and the amount to be paid. You should be able to understand what you’re agreeing to.
Old or Poorly Maintained Snow Removal Equipment
Snow removal services can be a big business expense, which is why you want to make sure that it’s being done right using high-end and well-maintained equipment. Dull shovels and poorly maintained snow plows can actually damage your pavement, pathways, and even your lawn. Ask the snow removal company how old their equipment is as well as how well and how frequently it’s maintained. If the equipment looks like it’s been through the ringer, it’s more than likely it will do more harm than good to your property.
Why Choose FOREVER GREEN LAWN & LANDSCAPE INC. for Your Winter Commercial Property Maintenance
At FOREVER GREEN LAWN & LANDSCAPE INC., we value our clients and have spent the past two decades building a good reputation throughout Toronto and the GTA. We provide a variety of winter property maintenance services including ice and snow removal, salting/de-icing, clearing gutters, wrapping trees and bushes, and so much more. Contact us today to book a consultation with one of our property maintenance experts.